When did you first know that you wanted to be a photographer?
-It was always clear to me that I wanted to become a photographer, there was never a moment of doubt. Maybe because my photography is so closely connected to my life, its who I am, truly. What I really learned is that photography is honest, it is a direct mirror of my life, every picture sums it up, everything I have seen around the world on my many travels, all the places I’ve lived.
– Born in Germany
– As a teenager I went out to explore the world: backpacking through Europe, Asia and Africa
– I wanted to see life in different parts of the world, – the camera-frame helped me to understand and process what I experienced.
– I crossed the Sahara desert, climbed the highest peaks of Africa, travelled throughout Southeast Asia, and India.
– Here I developed an eye for simplicity and truth, this is still like the foundation of my work today
– I started out shooting for international aid organizations in Africa and Asia
Who were some of the first photographers that inspired you?
– I don’t look at other photographers work, and never really have done so. I am very interested in understanding contemporary culture in all its forms, throughout all genres, to understand the times we are going through. I am also very interested in paintings and art movements in paintings.
Are you currently working on any personal projects?
– I am constantly shooting, pushing the boundaries and working on different new projects, experimenting, exploring, the heart of my photography.
– I work on what truly excites me, I do what I love, exploring new ways and creating new solutions. Its a very exciting moment in photography!
– My new experimental work:
Seeing light in a new way, explore energy, light and space, speed. For instance, a recent series using the moon as the sole light source. I focused on the energy of motion, the speed, the contrast between the stillness of the landscape and the energy of the engines. We shot in the middle of the desert, in an open vast space, like a huge studio, learning to read the natural light and how it reacts with the surface of the object
– New York project:
To capture the essence of any place, I focus on the energy, how people interact with the space.
New York City is unique. Its essence is about pure life. Weird, beautiful, strange juxtapositions of all facets of existence, thats the beauty of it. These photographs of New York are not only photos about a city; they’re more general, universal – these images are about life itself, the essence of humanity. I absorb the energy of New York City in my work.
– About my approach to photography:
– I have a unique perspective on everything I photograph.
– It always inspires me to go beyond my imagination.
– My approach is to make visible what is invisible. I find new expressions and make it my mission to learn something from every image.
– For myself, taking photographs means asking questions rather than looking for answers.
– I think we are just at the beginning of understanding the new possibilities.
– The ultimate intention of my work is to capture the pulse and movement of the ever changing culture of our lives.
– The best photographs should show the strangeness and variety of life.
– Before I photograph, I calm my mind. This is concentration on one affair. I blend out whats not necessary, with concentration.
– Focus on ideas instead of technology.
If you could go back ten years, what advice would you give yourself?
“….do everything exactly the same way as you are about to do it.”
I learned to follow my own path, to reveal my own creative identity. I always listen to the own voice, vision and instincts.
(Tobias is based in New York. See more of his work, here)